Boom time: Seven top sprayers for 2014

The latest sprayers offer hillside spraying with improved stability and level control for slopes as well as bigger capacity for mounted sprayers. Peter Hill looks at seven of the best.

Agrifac


Keeping the sprayer on an even keel to maintain stability and traction is the objective of Agrifac’s latest chassis development. The bigger capacity version of the Agrifac Condor (pictured above in the foreground) runs on a lengthened version of the StabiloPlus “walking” chassis to make room for an 8,000-litre tank.


While its title may be a little optimistic, the Condor MountainMasterPlus does have benefits where combinable crops are grown on steep slopes, says its manufacturer.


Agrifac-Condor-conventionalAgrifac-Condor-MountainMasterPlus


ABOVE: Self-levelling chassis of the Condor MountainMasterPlus maintains more even side-to-side weight distribution for improved stability and traction on side slopes.


More even side-to-side weight distribution avoids overloading tyres on the downhill side of the machine and together with generous adjustable track width settings makes the self-levelling Condor less likely to topple or slip downhill. The upright stance should also make life more comfortable for the driver.


See also: Billericay Farm Services reveals super-adjustable fertiliser nozzle


A 20% slope is the system’s compensating limit and there are two adjustable track width choices – 1.9-2.65m and 2.25-3m. The hydraulic cylinders that compensate for a side slope can also be used to adjust ground clearance from 1.4m to 2m.


For operators who simply want more output, the new Condor Endurance obliges with 8,000 litres of spray tank capacity, boom widths up 51m and 50kph road speed potential. Like all Condors, the Endurance runs on the StabiloPlus “walking” chassis, but has 346hp to keep it on the move.


With its new FPT engines, the regular Condor has 205hp or 285hp and a choice of standard or heavy-duty specification; the latter has a strengthened chassis, upgraded wheel hubs and more powerful hydraulics.


Knight Farm Machinery


Knight-sprayer


A choice of boom folding formats and bigger liquid capacities comes with the latest mounted sprayer from Knight Farm Machinery.


Designed to operate on a large tractor – and with up to 3,400-litre capacity when combined with a 1,500-litre front tank – the Xtra has a new chassis design and altered mast. That permits boom folding either down the side of the sprayer or in a vertical configuration behind the tank to provide clear and drip-free access to the tractor cab.


Booms from 12-30m are available for the 1,300-, 1,600- and 1,900-litre sizes (Knight’s biggest previously was 1,500-litres), and plumbing options that include the MAXImiser system to minimise pipework and rinsing demands at the end of each job.


Because the sprayer is carried as close as possible to the back of the tractor, it leans backwards on its parking legs to make space for the operator when connecting the pto, hydraulic pipes and electrical cables.


Kuhn


Kuhn sprayer


Auto on-off control using a GPS antenna mounted on the boom frame is an option for the Metris, a new mid-size trailed sprayer that slots into the Kuhn range between the Grand Large and lower spec Oceanis models.


The proximity of the antenna helps the accuracy of the system, says Kuhn, and the on-off control is included with progressive section switching (at angled headlands, for example) in the REB3 control box. Auto boom height for headland turns is also available.


The Metris 3200 and 4100 have an injected polyester tank that is bulbous at the front and narrows towards the rear where the 450-litre rinsing tank is located centrally to help balance. Internal baffles limit water surge and there are built in nozzles to rinse off the easy-clean inner surface.


Kuhn’s Equilibra 3D suspension is used to carry the 18-36m aluminium booms, on which slotted brackets allow the sprayline to be set at the best height to protect different nozzle bodies without impeding spray output.


Amazone


The engine management and traction control system of the current Pantera 4001 self-propelled sprayer may be carried over, but pretty much everything else has been expanded, toughened up or revamped for its replacement.


According to Amazone, the Pantera 4502 has more engine power, greater tank capacity and faster travelling speed, and is generally more efficient. It is also more versatile with three chassis variations now available for the vehicle – standard, high clear and wide track for all spraying applications from cereals to maize and potatoes.


Higher torque output from the hydrostatic drive and bigger wheels lift performance and disc braking caters for a potential top speed of 50kph.


In the field, carrying capacity is now a nominal 4,500 litres (up from 4,000 litres), with the ability to take 4,800 litres of liquid fertiliser, and Isobus electronics mean Amazone’s advanced Amatron 3 or Amapad devices can be used to operate the spraying system, while the Amadrive touchscreen looks after vehicle functions and spray pump output.


John Deere


John-Deere-M740 sprayer


Despite being billed as mid-spec machines, the M700 and M900 trailed sprayers from John Deere can be equipped with a host of operating technologies.


They can have Isobus electronics to communicate with an in-cab terminal and access features such as Tank Fill Calculator, which figures out refill volumes; BoomTrac automatic boom height and tilt control; and FieldDoc documentation software; and boom section control by GPS.


New electronics and hydraulics provide a choice of different specification levels and the sprayers are available to “standard” or “intelligent” spec according to the amount of electronics assistance preferred.


Designed for farms growing up to 750ha of cereals, oilseed rape or row crops, the M700 machines are available with 2,400-, 3,200- and 4,000-litre capacities equipped with a triple folding 30m boom to match 6m tramline multiples.


The 5,200- and 6,200-litre M900 sprayers share features with the higher-spec R900i models, including the high-capacity PowrFill inductor and steel booms from 24-40m and have manual or semi-automatic operation of the liquid system.


Landquip


Landquip-Electrac-II


A new chassis equipped with rubber spring or air axle suspension to produce a smooth ride at high road speeds and stable in-field performance is among the highlights of Landquip’s latest Electrac trailed sprayer.


The 2,500- or 3,000-litre polypropylene tank is also new and effectively rinsed out, says the Suffolk manufacturer, thanks to its curved shape, two rotary in-tank wash heads supplied by a 330-litre clean water supply and effective sump draining.


Buyers can choose one of two drawbar configurations – for a pick-up hitch or for a European-style high hitch that dispenses with the tractor’s pick-up and lift arms for maximum clearance in mature crops. Both drawbars have twin cylinder hydraulic tracking to ensure the sprayer follows in the tractor’s wheelings.


A high lift parallelogram boom frame from the larger InTrac provides spray heights up to 2.3m and Landquip claims a number of innovative changes for the 18-28m bifold aluminium boom. These are hydraulic cushioning suspension and re-designed trapezium boom levelling and hydraulic anti-yaw incorporated into the back frame to cushion lateral movement.


Standard equipment includes 300-litre/min pump with pto or hydraulic drive; GPS auto switching of up to 20 boom sections is among the options.


Lemken


Lemken-Vega-01


Lemken is understandably proud of the sleek-looking Vega – it is the first trailed sprayer fully developed in-house since the firm established its crop protection arm through acquisitions.


There are 3,000-, 4,000- and 5,000-litre tanks with a central baffle to prevent surge and a large access hatch reached from a front platform.


Generous ground clearance results from integrating the axle into the chassis – the tracking drawbar can be set high for the same objective – with mechanical or active air suspension smoothing the ride.


Automatic valve blocks arranged in series and electrically switched minimise pipe and hose lengths for the least possible residue and all operations are carried out on a terminal next to the induction hopper or in the tractor cab.


A novel combination of parallelogram and lift mast is used to support the rear-folding 15-30m SEH aluminium boom, which can work at up to 3m to cater for very tall crops. Gyro sensors electronically control the wings within a range of -8deg and +15deg while electrically operated single nozzle valves provide added working width precision.

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